Dangerous comparisons

From tor.com, this:

Jonathan Strange Meets Georgette Heyer: Pan Macmillan Acquires Zen Cho’s Regency Fantasy Sorcerer to the Crown

And my first thought, Wow, I’d love this.

But my second, firmer thought was, Wow, nobody could live up to that. Do I want to court disappointment?

It’s a tricky business, comparing a forthcoming title to classics that have been out for ages.

Anyway, here’s the book description:

The book takes us to a Regency London where the Crown calls on magic, and English high society holds an uneasy truce with the land of the Faerie. Even though Zacharias Wythe has only begun his work as England’s first African Sorcerer Royal, he’s is already facing three non-magical problems: The Fairy court thinks he murdered his predecessor, a dangerous faction is scheming to unseat him by any means necessary, and…Prunella Gentleman. Prunella, an orphan who has spent her life toiling at a school she hates, has just uncovered a secret that might change the course of English Magic. Wythe doesn’t want to work with her, but it looks like he doesn’t have a choice…

I see why people might glimpse echoes of Jonathan Strange in that. Georgette Heyer, not so much, but then there’s only so much you can put in a single paragraph of description and witty dialogue that burbles gently along is not going to be possible.

On a side note, can a character actually be named Prunella Gentleman? Is that a terrible idea for a name or could it possible work in context? Horrible names bother me all through a book, even if I love everything else about the book. Could that conceivably be a typo?

Anyway, sounds like one to keep an eye out for. It’s supposed to hit the shelves late next year.

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